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Liberal Democrats

We can’t turn our back on those fleeing Ukraine.

These are families desperately fleeing war with their children. Let them in. 

By Liberal Democrats, Mar 15, 2022 5:03

These are families desperately fleeing war with their children. Let them in. 

A terrible human tragedy is unfolding before our eyes, as a direct result of Putin’s maniacal aggression.

We are witnessing the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since the Second World War.

Three million people have already fled Ukraine to escape Putin’s war machine, and many more are desperate to get out. Their homes, schools and hospitals have been destroyed by Putin’s bombs; their communities turned into warzones.

This crisis demands a coordinated humanitarian response. Anything less would play right into Putin’s hands by destabilising our continent even further.

The UK has a proud and long history of supporting those fleeing war and persecution, and we must once again step up.

People across the country are reaching out to welcome refugees with open arms, but the Conservative Government’s response has been woefully inadequate.

At the start of the crisis, Priti Patel reportedly told Home Office officials that she 'is not in the business of providing homes for tens of thousands of Ukrainians.' Another Conservative Minister said refugees should apply to come and pick fruit.

Enormous pressure from the Liberal Democrats and the rest of the great British public has already forced Ministers into several U-turns, resulting in two new routes for Ukrainian citizens to come to the UK: the Ukraine Family Scheme and ‘Homes for Ukraine’.

But the Government is still moving far too slowly. The Home Office has turned away hundreds of refugees, and thousands more are trapped in bureaucratic limbo, unable to get in. Almost three weeks into the war, just 4,600 Ukrainians have been issued visas under the Family Scheme, and Ministers can’t yet say when the first people will be resettled under the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme.

Meanwhile, Priti Patel is still trying to push through her appalling Anti-Refugee Bill, which would criminalise Ukrainians – and any other refugees – just for coming to the UK to claim asylum.

The incompetence, indifference and sheer inhumanity of the Government’s response does not befit our United Kingdom, with its proud tradition of welcoming refugees. It does not befit the British people, with all our compassion and generosity.

Liberal Democrats are calling for: 

  • Ukrainian refugees to be allowed to come to the UK now, without first having to apply. Once here, they should quickly be granted refugee status if they want it.
  • A fast, ambitious resettlement scheme, working with refugee agencies in Poland and elsewhere, to bring Ukrainian refugees directly to the UK.
  • The Government to withdraw the Nationality and Borders Bill.
  • The Prime Minister to sack Priti Patel as Home Secretary.

Tens of thousands of people across the UK are offering to open their homes to people fleeing Putin’s bombs. We need a Government response that properly reflects that spirit of compassion and generosity.

SIGN our petition calling for a full and ambitious resettlement scheme for those fleeing war in Ukraine. ⬇️

Sign the petition now

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